10/09/2013 15:59 BST | Updated 10/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Five Ways to Make Your Final Year Count

Congratulations you have made it into your final year at university. If it hasn't already, the dread will kick in and you will realise that it's all coming to an end. The two previous years have flown by and what stands between you and the mortarboard is a mountain of work, several all-nighters in the library and that sickly feeling of having to actually start your life. You shouldn't panic though, you've got a year left and it will be over before you know it, it is worth facing the challenge head on rather than burying your head in the sand. There are several ways students can put themselves in good stead and now is the time to start.

So here are my five tips to ensuring that you have the best final year you can and make the most of it:

1. Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes are often regarded as a golden ticket for graduates to start careers in specific industries. They are the complete package to take a particular graduate from university to train them and mould them into slick and dynamic employees. Usually hosted by some of the bigger professional services, accountancy or financial firms, graduate schemes are prized positions. While some of the bigger firms have an intake of over 1,000 graduates, these schemes are extremely competitive. So have a think about what you might want to do and see if any of the big graduate employers are recruiting in your field. The schemes tend to close before the end of the calendar year so it would be advised to get looking now.

2. Experiences

Students, if they have not already, would be advised to have some working world experience under their belt. Whether it is chipping in to the beer fund or getting experience in retail, hospitality or sales, students would be advised to have these on their CV so they are as prepped as they can be when they leave the ivory tower and into the working world. Volunteering might be a good way to gain experience and be able to fit it around your already busy studying schedule.

3. Extracurricular

It is never too late to join a university society or sports team. These places are always looking for people that are willing to commit to winter training sessions or tight deadlines. Students would be advised to make use of the opportunities that university can provide. Often the skills that these extracurricular activities provide are useful in job situations. Not only can they be evidence for commitment or team work, but it can add a little colour to applications and make you seem more than just a list of qualifications.

4. Work hard

This should be the most obvious piece of advice, but ask anyone that got over the line at university, getting that first job is a lot easier if you have an upper second. It was revealed earlier after a study by the Association of Graduate Recruiters that 81.3% of employers screen applicants on a 2:1 or above. This is vital if you are planning on applying to some of the big graduate schemes. There are still jobs out there if you get a 2:2 or lower, but for some reason employers have a bizarre bench mark of a 2:1 in any subject from any university. It is not the end of the world if you come out with anything lower, but it makes the job hunt a lot easier.

5. Enjoy it

The last and probably most easily forgotten piece of advice would be to enjoy it. Final year students are often swiftly swept up into a nightmarish scenario of having too much work to do, exams to revise for and hand ins galloping towards them. So remember, schedule yourself some time off. You will never have much free time or as many of your mates around you again. Join in while you can because you will never get opportunities like it again.